The future of women in the workspace

Saddleback College holds workshops to improve the work life of women

The panel at the Women's Leadership Forum The panelists individually shared their experience as a woman in the workplace, offered advice on how to advance in their respective male dominant industries and answered questions from the guests in attendance. (Harrison Shin)

The panelists individually shared their experience as a career woman, offered advice on how to advance in their respective male dominant industries and answered questions from the guests in attendance. (Harrison Shin)

Saddleback College held the Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday at the Student Services Center, attended by dozens of working women and students.

The program was organized in conjunction with Saddleback and the American Association of University Women which featured guest speakers and panelists of local women in leadership roles in their respective fields.

Dr. Lee Winocur Field opened the forum with a strong message.

“This is Women’s Leadership Forum and if you belong to another room, you’re welcome to leave,” said Field, followed by laughter from the attendees.

She continued, giving a brief history of the AAUW, an overview of the day’s schedule and introducing the keynote speaker, Beth MacLean, an executive vice president and bank loan portfolio manager in the Newport Beach office for Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC.

Before relocating to Orange County for her position at PIMCO in 2011, MacLean was a partner and bank loan portfolio manager at Lord Abbett, a private investment management company.

In her speech, MacLean described an anecdote in which her teenage son had asked her for a tour of PIMCO for his business club at school.

“I asked him, ‘How many girls do you have in your business club?’ He said ‘None!’” MacLean said. “I told him, ‘you don’t get a tour of PIMCO until you get some girls in the club!’”

MacLean expressed her concern of the lack of interest in business among young girls and her desire for an early introduction into business for young girls.

Before transitioning to the panel, Lucy Hendrix, president of the Associated Student Government at Saddleback College, described her experience in her leadership role and her membership with the AAUW.

Hendrix then introduced the panel comprised of Laura Farinella, chief of police at Laguna Beach; Marcia Milchiker, governing board member of South Orange County Community College District; Lee Winocur Field of AAUW, Matiel Payton or Northrop Drummon; and Allison Blythe-Owens of AAUW as the moderator.

The panelists individually shared their experience as a career woman, offered advice on how to advance in their respective male dominant industries and answered questions from the guests in attendance.

Following a short break after the panel, the guests dispersed to attend breakout sessions led by organizers and panelists throughout various locations on the campus that focused on finding and maintaining mentorships, international perspectives on women in leadership roles, and making connections.

After the breakout sessions, there was a 45-minute lunch break with complimentary lunch provided to those who had registered for the event. The guests separated into groups to attend the Start Smart workshops prepared and taught by members of the AAUW for the rest of the afternoon.

The event ended with a wrap up statement delivered by Dr. April Cubbage, a sociology and gender studies professor at Saddleback College.

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